School of Art, Design and Architecture

MA Architecture

This one year MA Architecture programme aims to support you in developing proficiency in architectural design, in the process of developing both an urban design and a detailed building / spatial design. Your study will be set in an exploration of new urban forms which are being generated in response to the changing nature of cities, notably increasing regional and global connectivity, and shifting cultural, economic, ecological, political, social and physical conditions and demands.

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Key features

  • Get creative with our amazing facilities and resources. You’ll be based in our eye-catching Faculty of Arts building in the heart of the campus, with students and staff from other art courses to bounce ideas off and collaborate with. And, you’ll have 2.0 square metres of desk to call your own.
  • Interact with the public domain with architecture that’s responsive to people, places and tectonics. Work with local communities and institutions, including city councils, business organisations and non-governmental organisations.
  • Work on live studio-based projects, both in the UK and abroad. Previous overseas projects have been based in China, Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Poland. 
  • Benefit from our future-facing programme that features a strong urban and sustainability dimension. 
  • Learn from tutors with industry experience and interdisciplinary research interests. Our school was described as ‘charged’ by Architects’ Journal.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • You’ll undertake design studio projects set around live urban regeneration projects. Supporting your work in the design studio, you’ll study core subjects – urban theories and methodologies, connecting sustainable practices and integrated technology. You’ll generate a dissertation, through detailed design development of a selected aspect of your design studio work. Support is provided in the design studio through weekly tutorials, workshops and seminars. The MA Architecture builds on the strength of the successful RIBA-validated M Arch programme. You’ll work alongside students on the M Architecture programme through common coursework and projects, and sharing studio space. 
    Core modules
    • ARCH771 Urban Design

      This module will enable students to position themselves within a contextual and theoretical framework. This exploration will be pursued through group investigation of a given place and will include study of precedents, identification of project sites and briefs and individual development of urban design and technical strategies for a chosen site and brief.

    • ARCH772 Building Design

      This module develops the project and urban and technical strategies selected in ARCH771 as a comprehensive and integrated detailed architectural design enabling students to develop their own theoretical position.

    • ARCH773 Integrated Technology

      This module will enable students to develop their understanding of the integration of construction and environment via a complex building design proposal. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of materials, structure, and construction and building physics focusing on relevant issues in creating a sustainable integrated design solution.

    • ARCH775 Advanced Connecting Sustainable Practices

      This module offers an introduction to the philosophies, principles, issues, policy and tools related to sustainability in the built environment. It promotes a critical discussion of what sustainability is, and what are the appropriate considerations for architecture and design. It covers issues that relate to both individual buildings and the wider urban system.

    • ARCH776 Dissertation by Design

      Students undertake an independent programme of design study, building upon work in ARCH771 / ARCH772. This work will be resolved as a comprehensive, detailed architectural design. While it has a general syllabus content, it will also be informed by the students¿ proposal for a detailed design inquiry (subject to approval by staff).

    • ARCH777 Emerging Architectural Research

      Students will undertake a programme of masters-level research aligned with staff's research praxis. It has no pre-ordained syllabus content, and will be informed by proposals for module content put forward by staff. Students will receive tutorial support for their approved research topic within the scope of the module content, seminar discussion and wider reading.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

Master of Architecture Programme Specification 2018 19 4478

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

You are required to have a 2.2 degree (50 per cent or above) in degree studies, design mark of 55 per cent or above in final degree year design. 

We also require references from previous university, employer and / or similar.

Work experience for approximately 12 months in an architect’s office or other professionally relevant activity is highly desirable, though not required.

For an informal discussion about MA Architecture please contact the programme leader at

Following completion of the MA Architecture programme, you'll have the opportunity to continue study on the RIBA-validated MArch Architecture programme, MRes Architecture or MPhil/PhD Architecture programmes.

If you have overseas qualifications you can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), who provide an advisory service. 

English language requirements

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualifications and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £7,500 £7,725
International £14,000 £14,400
Part time (Home/EU) £420 £430
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Find out more about the postgraduate international scholarships

How to apply

Applying for postgraduate study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. The Doctoral College is also available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees –

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas candidates applying to the University from our International Admissions Team via

If you would like to speak to one of our course information advisors, please contact us:

Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our postgraduate online application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to complete the form.

School of Art, Design and Architecture - facilities and resources

Our designated architecture studio spaces provide a unique learning environment. A range of well-resourced specialist laboratory, CAD, and materials workshop facilities are all in close proximity, putting industry standard facilities at your fingertips.

Find out more about the facilities and resources available to you

Progression - MA Architecture

Following completion of the MA Architecture programme, you'll have the opportunity to continue study on the RIBA-validated MArch Architecture programme, or MRes Architecture or MPhil/PhD Architecture programmes.

Link to further information on the MArch Architecture